Monday, December 1, 2014

Cyber Monday and Pie Girls

I am so excited to be included in a list of some outstanding cyber Monday deals in chick lit and women's fiction! Keep scrolling down, and you'll find them, and if you have a hard time trying to decide which to purchase, just get them all! (It will still be way cheaper than buying a regularly priced book!) First, read my review of Pie Girls, by Lauren Clark, one of the fabulous authors who is offering her books at a very low price today.
Chick lit is one of my favorite genres, so I decided to give Pie Girls a try. This book totally lived up to my expectations, and them some. The character development was especially well done! At first, Searcy seemed spoiled and materialistic, but that just left room for growth. Her character arc was so well done! The plot is pretty simple, in a good way. Searcy goes home after her husband leaves her, and once there, she helps her mother with her pie shop. This novel evoked so many different emotions. At times I was angry, nostalgic, sad, happy, and then I found myself laughing. Lauren Clark’s writing seems so effortless, yet it is so cleverly written. I would definitely recommend this book to others! This was such a wonderful, sweet story, and I was glad to be able to escape into it. Searcy starts out as a superficial, unlikable character, but she has a believable yet touching turn-around. Lauren Clark is a gifted author to achieve such a feat - making me care about a character that I initially did not like. In addition, I loved the mother/daughter relationship because it totally rang true. If you are looking for a well-written book that will spur a range of emotions, you've found it here with Pie Girls. It's a fun read that you'll still be thinking about long after you've reached the last page.
Looking for great deals on some amazing books this Cyber Monday? Look no more! Below are books that are priced at 99 cents or lower - get them quick before the sale ends! From chick lit to women's fiction to romance and more, we have something to keep everyone happy for this holiday! Find a special tweet at the end of each description and help us spread the word about these amazing deals!

Chick Lit

pie girls lauren clarkPie Girls – Lauren Clark Princess, Southern belle, and spoiled-rotten social climber Searcy Roberts swore on a stack of Bibles she’d never return home to Fairhope, Alabama. After marrying her high school sweetheart and moving to Atlanta, Searcy embraces big-city life—Carrie Bradshaw style. But now, Searcy has a teeny, tiny problem. Her husband’s had a mid-life crisis. He’s quit his job, cancelled her credit cards, and left her for another man. Searcy returns to Fairhope, ready to lick her wounds. But when her mother falls ill, she’s thrust into managing the family business—only to discover the beloved bakery is in danger of closing its doors forever. Enlisting the help of the adorable bike store owner next door, an array of well-heeled customers, and her soon-to-be ex-husband, Searcy hatches the plan of the century to save Pie Girls. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @LaurenClark_Bks Tweet: PIE GIRLS by @LaurenClark_Bks is just #99cents! #chicklit for your ereader! #CyberMondayReads dancing naked in dixie lauren clarkDancing Naked in Dixie- Lauren Clark Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage. Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @LaurenClark_Bks Tweet: #CyberMondayReads - get DANCING NAKED IN DIXIE by @LaurenClark_Bks for only #99cents! #chicklit #booksale the dr pepper prophecies jennifer gilby robertsThe Dr. Pepper Prophecies – Jennifer Gilby Roberts 25-year-old Mel Parker has a few tiny problems: * Her job is terrible * She's been dumped yet again (and her ex is now her boss) * Her parents think she's a loser compared to her perfect younger sister * All her efforts to improve her life seem doomed to failure * There just isn't enough chocolate in the world to make up for the above. The best thing in her life has always been her best friend Will, who has seen her through every crisis from lost toys to pregnancy scares. But his girlfriend (who's prettier, better-dressed, more successful and secretly evil) is determined to replace Mel as the woman in his life and how is Mel supposed to compete? And what do you do when you've pretty much given up on your own life? You help others, of course! Whether they like it or not. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @GilbyRoberts Tweet: #ChickLit Sale! THE DR. PEPPER PROPHECIES by @GilbyRoberts is only #99cents! #CyberMondayReads french twist glynis astieFrench Twist – Glynis Astie Sydney Bennett had spent her life in pursuit of perfection. She planned, weighed her options and made careful choices based on calculated outcomes. Through all of her efforts, she had come pretty close to perfection, if she didn’t say so herself. She had fled the cold winters in New York for sunny California, found a job that she loved and lived in the same town as her sister, and best friend, Kate. The one area of perfection that had always eluded her was her love life. No matter how hard she tried, she always ended up with a broken heart. After a particularly traumatic breakup, Sydney vowed that she was done with love. Just as Sydney threw herself into her new plan to forget about men, a handsome Frenchman tossed all of her intentions out the window as he swept her off of her feet. Louis Durand had lived a life filled with excitement and adventure. He was impetuous, intelligent and incredibly charming. So naturally, he scared Sydney half to death. From the moment they met, Louis and Sydney’s romance progressed at warp speed. Sydney did her best not to run, but her deep rooted relationship anxiety threatened to provide an easy exit. When Louis mentioned marriage before Sydney even knew his favorite color, she was more than tempted to reach for her running shoes. Will she be able to put her fears aside to follow her heart? The one thing that Sydney will learn is that sometimes perfection comes with a twist... Original Price: $.99 Sale Price: FREE Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @GlynisAstie Tweet: Who doesn't love FREE #chicklit? Grab your copy of FRENCH TWIST by @GlynisAstie now! #CyberMondayReads french toast glynis astieFrench Toast – Glynis Astie Sydney Bennett is back! And her pursuit of perfection is alive and well. Naïve to the core, Sydney believed that when she finally married the man of her dreams, the hard part was over. Following a civil ceremony as a means to keep Louis from being deported, Sydney continues to plan the fairytale wedding that she had dreamed of since the age of five. Much to her chagrin, she discovers that her mother-in-law is planning what seems to be a rival wedding in France that SHE has been dreaming about for her only child since before he was born. How will poor Sydney be able to ensure two perfect weddings in the midst of Louis’ fruitless job search? Especially when her mother-in-law’s idea of perfection appears to be having Sydney embarrass herself in front of hundreds of French people that she has never met? As if she didn’t have enough on her mind already, Sydney finds herself faced with the trials and tribulations of being a wife. Sydney had always heard that marriage was hard, but she thought that this was just a ruse that married couples portrayed in a bid to make single girls feel less desperate. But as the bills pile up and emotions run high, she realizes that there may just be some truth to this statement. And as she watches Louis’ perfection fade away before her very eyes, she begins to wonder if she made a rash decision in marrying a man that she had known for a mere six months. With all of the obstacles that Sydney and Louis will encounter, will they be raising their glasses in celebration or watching their impulsive marriage crash and burn? One thing is for certain, Sydney and Louis Durand are headed for one hell of a toast… Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @GlynisAstie Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: Get #chicklit for just #99cents! FRENCH TOAST by @GlynisAstie #booksale in need of therarpy tracie banisterIn Need of Therapy – Tracie Banister Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart? While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger. When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart. Original Price: $1.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @traciebanister Tweet: IN NEED OF THERAPY by @traciebanister is just #99cents for #CyberMondayReads! Get #chicklit for your eReader! limoncello yellow traci andrighettiLimoncello Yellow – Traci Andrighetti Francesca "Franki" Amato is a tough-talking rookie cop in Austin, Texas—until an unfortunate 911 call involving her boyfriend, Vince, and a German female wrestler convinces her once and for all that she just isn't cut out for a life on the police force. So Franki makes the snap decision to move to New Orleans to work at her friend Veronica's detective agency, Private Chicks, Inc. But Franki's hopes for a more stable life are soon dashed when Private Chicks is hired by the prime suspect in a murder case to find out what really happened to a beautiful young boutique manager who was found strangled to death with a cheap yellow scarf. When she's not investigating, Franki is hoping to seduce handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, but most of her time is spent dodging date offers from a string of "good Italian boys"—make that not-so-good aging Italian men—that her meddlesome Sicilian grandma has recruited as marriage candidates. As Mardi Gras approaches and the mystery of the murdered shop girl gets more complicated, Franki must decipher the odd ramblings of a Voodoo priestess to solve both the murder and the mystery of her own love life. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @TAndrighetti Tweet: LIMONCELLO YELLOW by @TAndrighetti is just #99cents for a limited time! #CyberMondayReads #chicklit prosecco pink traci andrighettiProsecco Pink – Traci Andrighetti For Franki Amato, life in New Orleans is anything but “The Big Easy.” When she met handsome bank executive Bradley Hartmann, she knew she’d finally found a man she could trust. But she can’t say the same for his sexy new secretary, who is about as trustworthy as Mata Hari and every bit as seductive. Meanwhile, Franki’s best friend and employer, Veronica Maggio, has named her the lead investigator in the murder of a gorgeous cosmetics CEO who was found lying dead in the master bedroom of a historic plantation home. Now the pressure is on Franki to figure out what a bottle of pink lip gloss and the legend of a pink diamond have to do with the bizarre killing. The problem is that the plantation is notorious for being haunted, and Franki is less than enthusiastic about the prospect of meeting a ghost. Adding to her stress, her Sicilian grandma is up to her usual meddling antics—this time planning Franki’s engagement to Bradley before he’s even considered popping the question. As Bradley grows distant and plantation employees begin dropping like Southern belles during a sweltering summer, Franki turns to a psychic with a phobia of ghosts to solve the mysterious murders and her own relationship fears. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @TAndrighetti Tweet: Get #chicklit for just #99cents when you grab PROSECCO PINK by @TAndrighetti during #CyberMondayReads! breaking the rulesBreaking the Rules – Cat Lavoie When twenty-seven year old Roxy Rule’s best friend and roommate accepts a glamorous new job overseas, she expects their relationship to continue as it’s always been—carefree and easy—until they share a heart-stopping kiss moments before his departure. Overcome with mixed emotions, she fights the urge to over analyze the situation and resumes back to her normal life in New York City, working for an intolerable boss at a dead end job, creeping further and further away from her own dreams of becoming a professional chef. While things become more complicated between her and Ollie, Roxy is sure that nothing can come between two lifelong best friends—not even mild jealousy over a thriving career or a silly little kiss that meant nothing. In fact, it was such a meaningless and forgettable kiss that she convinces herself that it’s not even worth mentioning to her fiancé, although it is all she can think about. Roxy’s already topsy-turvy life only gets more complicated when her sisters Steffi and Izzie suddenly become her roommates. Steffi is six months into a pregnancy she refuses to discuss and Izzie is in the throes of a premature midlife crisis. Roxy tries to take control of her career, her love life and her sisters – but can she really handle it all? And can the Rule family keep it together – or break under the pressure? Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Catenabi Tweet: BREAKING THE RULES by @Catenabi is just #99cents for #CyberMondayReads - fun #chicklit! #booksale zoey and the moment of zenZoey & The Moment of Zen – Cat Lavoie When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone—except Zoey—is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all. But Zoey's relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort's owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane's grumpy friend—to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm. When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn't completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn't the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Catenabi Tweet: Grab ZOEY & THE MOMENT OF ZEN by @Catenabi for only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! #chicklit when girlfriends chase dreamsWhen Girlfriends Chase Dreams – Savannah Page A novel about chasing dreams, for better or worse, and living your love story. Claire Linley is finally a bride! After nearly ten years with her college freshman sweetheart, Claire is going to become Mrs. Conner Whitley. She’s got her bridal magazines, is the biggest Martha Stewart fan, and subscribes to all the major wedding blogs. She’s been dreaming of this moment for years! How could planning her dream wedding be anything but perfect? The easy-going and bubbly type, Claire will obviously have a blast planning, and with her fantastic group of girlfriends-made-bridesmaids she just can’t go wrong. Whether it’s wedding gown shopping, makeup trials, or cake-tasting, Claire’s friends are there in a pinch. But how big does the pinch get? All Claire wants to do is get married, but at every turn something seems to go awry and she’s starting to lose it. How is a girl supposed to remain cool and collected when the pricey dream wedding planner isn’t turning out to be so dreamy? When DIY projects and the perfect venue are going up in smoke? How is Claire supposed to marry Conner when the special day that’s supposed to join them together, forever, is slowly tearing them apart? This is the charming story about how sometimes the biggest events in life are defined by the smallest acts of kindness and love. It’s a love story about dreaming large, loving deeply, and, in the end, truly having the happiest day of your life, no matter what happens (or doesn’t). About what happens when girlfriends chase dreams. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: FREE Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Savannah_Page Tweet: FREE #chicklit from @Savannah_Page when you grab WHEN GIRLFRIENDS CHASE DREAMS! #CyberMondayReads when girlfriends collection savannah pageWhen Girlfriends Collection 1-3- Savannah Page This digital boxed set includes the first three novels of the When Girlfriends collection: When Girlfriends Break Hearts, When Girlfriends Step Up, and When Girlfriends Make Choices. WHEN GIRLFRIENDS BREAK HEARTS Follow Sophie Wharton as she learns what to do about matters of the heart when things don’t quite go according to plan. A novel about the bonds of friendship, the power of forgiveness, and the lessons you learn when you let go. WHEN GIRLFRIENDS STEP UP Join mom-to-be Robin Sinclair as she embarks on a journey she never could have imagined. A novel about love and support, and learning that with enduring friendships, no woman is ever alone. WHEN GIRLFRIENDS MAKE CHOICES Follow Lara Kearns as she struggles with how far she’ll go for true love…however forbidden… A novel about forbidden love, the choices you make, and discovering what’s important in life. Original Price: $7.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Savannah_Page Tweet: Get 3 titles from the WHEN GIRLFRIENDS series from @Savannah_Page for only #99cents! #CyberMondayReads

Women’s Fiction

toronto collection1 heather wardellToronto Collection 1 – Heather Wardell "Go Small or Go Home": When massage therapist and aspiring artist Tess begins treating stressed but attractive hockey star Forrest, her art career soars due to his gallery-owning mother, but her creativity plummets under the weight of rules and deadlines. Soon, she's lost the freedom and joy she'd always found in art. Is having her dream career worth losing doing her art her way, or can she somehow have both at once? "Planning to Live": Determined to lose weight for her best friend's wedding, goal-obsessed Rhiannon flees her parents' Christmas Day feast to avoid overeating but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree. Trapped and bleeding, with her cell phone out of reach, she struggles to escape, and to accept that she's spent her whole life planning but hasn't ever really lived. Will she get the chance to change that? "Stir Until Thoroughly Confused": Mary's given up everything, including an unsatisfying marriage, to become a chef. But the career comes with a side dish: Kegan, her sexy but controlling new boss. They're soon in a relationship, and in all-too-frequent arguments, and when it becomes clear they can't work together and be together Mary faces a dilemma: keep her dream job or her dream man? "A Life That Fits": Twenty-eight-year-old Andrea is devastated when her boyfriend of fourteen years leaves her for a woman he calls Andrea's opposite. Determined to get him back, Andrea changes everything in her life. New clothes, new activities, new friends... she'll be her opposite in no time. But will she change enough to get Alex back? And if she does, will he fit into her new life? Original Price: $9.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @heatherwardell Tweet: Get 4 titles from @HeatherWardell for only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! toronto collection2 heather wardellToronto Collection 2 – Heather Wardell "Live Out Loud": Songwriter Amy wants to honor her late best friend by starting the support center for teenage girls they'd planned when they were just girls themselves. When her song becomes an internet sensation she sees how to get the money she needs, but soon realizes she adores her new pop star career. She must choose: create the center she needed herself as a teen or truly become Misty Will, pop princess. "Blank Slate Kate": Waking up with a strange man is scary. Realizing you lost fifteen years of your life overnight? That's terrifying. With her memories from seventeen to thirty-two gone, Kate has no idea who she is and where she belongs. As she begins to fall for the man who found her, she wonders if she forgot those years for a reason. Should she keep trying to retrieve her original self, or start a new life? "Finding My Happy Pace": If thirty-year-old Megan were any more of a doormat, she'd have footprints on her back. She takes up running to strengthen her body, but marathon training with cute but heartbroken coach Andrew strengthens her assertiveness too. When her best friend's demands threaten her race Megan must decide: cave in as she always has before or stick to her new-found 'happy pace' in running and life. "All At Sea": Three months after they met, Melissa will marry Owen on his family's annual cruise. He's a great catch, though, so although they're moving fast she's sure they'll be fine. But when he proves to be a gambler and deserts her for the onboard casino, she wonders if she really knows him and if their marriage will meet her needs. Melissa must decide: stay with Owen or jump ship. Original Price: $9.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @heatherwardell Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: Four titles for one low price of #99cents from @HeatherWardell! #booksale redesigning rose lydia lacebyRedesigning Rose – Lydia Laceby Rose Parker's husband has been lying. About everything. When a conversation with her husband triggers questions, Rose Parker uncovers alarming answers that shatter her perfect life. But it is only when she shoves her belongings in her SUV and drives off that Rose realizes just how far from perfect her life actually was. She has nowhere to turn. While debating between distressing sleeping arrangements–her mother’s house full of questions or a hotel room with too much solitude–Rose bumps into an acquaintance from her gardening class and allows bubbly, exuberant Becky to indulge her in a wild night full of whiskey, weeping, and whispered confidences. Suddenly, Rose has a new friend, a roof over her head, and two gorgeous men moving her out of her marital home. As Rose struggles to settle into her new life, she remains determined to comprehend her past. And with time and distance and especially wine, comes knowledge. Frank wasn’t the only one lying to her. Rose was lying to herself. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $0.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @lydialaceby Tweet: REDESIGNING ROSE by @lydialaceby is only #99cents for #CyberMondayReads! #womensfiction the holdout laurel osterkampThe Holdout- Laurel Osterkamp Robin wanted to win The Holdout, a cutthroat reality TV show, so she gave it her all, challenge after challenge. Then she fell for Grant, with his irresistible eyes and heartbreaking life story. But Grant was only using Robin as they competed for a million dollars. Once home, Robin wants to hide from the humiliation as episodes of The Holdout are aired, and she worries her family was right all along; she’s not a survivor. Yet she could surprise everyone, and have the last laugh. Besides, Robin now has jury duty. And as she forges ahead, confronting her demons about bravery, justice, and romance, Robin will come to decide which is more important: the courage to stand alone, or the strength to love again. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @laurelosterkamp Tweet: Get your copy of THE HOLDOUT by @LaurelOsterkamp for only #99cents! #CyberMondayReads #womensfiction the next breathThe Next Breath – Laurel Osterkamp "I kiss him, choosing love over honesty, which is a choice nobody should ever have to make…" Robin loves sweet, responsible Nick, with his penchant for Beethoven and Ben Folds Five. But she also still loves her college boyfriend Jed, an irreverent playwright plagued with cystic fibrosis. Now Robin is struggling to reveal her secrets and confront her past, as she finally performs in the play that Jed wrote for her, eleven years ago. Will Robin have the strength to keep her promise and stay true to her heart? Alternating between present-day scenes, college flashbacks, and segments from Jed’s play, this tear-jerking yet uplifting tale illustrates how life is finite but love is infinite, and the road to recovery begins with the next breath. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @laurelosterkamp Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: THE NEXT BREATH by @LaurelOsterkamp is only #99cents! #booksale coulda woulda shoulda tara lee reedCoulda, Woulda, Shoulda – Tara Lee Reed Elle Masters is over dating. It used to be fun: the drama, the angst, the exhilarating beginnings, the bittersweet middles, the blowout endings. Then the tears, hangovers, rebounds, and another addition to the Heartbreak Box in her closet. Now Elle can't remember the last time a guy made his way into her box. When her friends Rachel and Valerie insist she snap out of her post-breakup funk with a girls' night out/rebound hunt at a San Francisco bar, she isn't expecting tall, dark, and hummuna-hummuna, Nick Wright. This is no rebound guy. He's definitely, maybe, The One. In Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda, you play Elle as she and her pals put the "antics" in "romantics." You'll question everything you thought you knew about love, over-analyzing and second-guessing your way through hundreds of modern dating dilemmas and passionate predicaments. With 60 Happily Sometimes Afters, you'll always have another chance with Mr. Wright. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @DoorFlowerCO Tweet: Interactive fiction for only #99cents! Get COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA by @DoorflowerCo! #CyberMondayReads a questionable friendshipA Questionable Friendship – Samantha March Brynne Ropert and Portland Dolish have been best friends since being paired as roommates in college. Seven years later they are now twenty-five, married, and living in Maine–– but the two women couldn’t be more different. Brynne finds fulfillment in her life as a wife, mother and owner of a small café and bookshop, but is struggling to expand her family. Portland is still coping with her mother’s death during her childhood, and her marriage is unraveling before her eyes. Portland envies her friend’s seemingly stable and easy life while Brynne doesn’t understand the growing distance between them and cannot begin to guess what secret Portland is hiding about her husband and crumbling marriage. While one woman feels shut out, the other enters into a web of lies to protect herself. A Questionable Friendship explores what really makes someone a true friend, a support system, a sister. How much trust goes into a friendship and when is being a friend not enough? Brynne and Portland’s story will attempt to answer those questions, and show that happily ever after isn’t in the cards for everyone. Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @SamanthaMarch23 Tweet: A QUESTIONABLE FRIENDSHIP by @SamanthaMarch23 - only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! #booksale something yellow laura templetonSomething Yellow – Laura Templeton Thirteen years ago, Holly’s nine-year-old sister, Rachel, disappeared without a trace. Thirteen years ago, Holly left her hometown. Thirteen years ago, Holly’s first love and high school boyfriend, Houston, was the only suspect. Now, another girl has disappeared. Holly is back, and so is Houston—never charged and still proclaiming his innocence. Can she trust him? Should she trust him? When out-of-work banking executive Holly McCann moves to the rural mountain town of White Cove, Virginia to care for her dying mother, the past collides with the present. A violent crime against her nine-year-old neighbor evokes memories of the eerily similar disappearance of her sister thirteen years earlier. Holly is thrilled by the arrival of her estranged brother, Oliver, but concerned by his mysterious behavior. She is befriended by the new minister, Jonah, an outsider haunted by his own painful past, but it is Houston Phelps, the only person arrested for the disappearance of her sister, who forces Holly to confront the past and start living in the present. Original Price: $3.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @Laura1264 Tweet: SOMETHING YELLOW by @Laura1264 is only #99cents for #CyberMondayReads! #womensfiction

Romance & New Adult

the-right-designThe Right Design – Isabella Louise Anderson Interior designer Carrie Newman could not have envisioned a more perfect life for herself. She had a great job doing what she loved, wonderful friends, and a close relationship with her sister and brother-in-law. Add in an amazing man who she’d hoped would soon become her husband, and her life was perfect. Until one devastating decision ruins her relationship and changes the course of her life. Determined to make a new start, Carrie leaves Texas and heads to Palm Beach to pick up the pieces of her shattered and broken life. The last thing she expects is to find herself attracted to her first client at her new job--Brad Larson, who has proven himself time and time again to be caddish. But there’s something beneath the surface of Brad’s arrogant exterior that keeps her craving more of him--something almost sweet that Carrie can’t seem to resist. Is Carrie ready to take another chance on romance? And will this new design of her life prove to be the right one? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @ILA121209 Tweet: #CyberMondayReads: Get THE RIGHT DESIGN by @ILA121209 for only #99cents for your eReader! laurel heights denise moncriefLaurel Heights – Denise Moncrief A dark cloud of deceit hovers over her family tree... Left an estate by an aunt she’s never met, Laurel Standridge takes possession of Laurel Heights, hoping it will be the safe haven she needs to recuperate from her ill-fated relationship with Rand Peterson. Secrets long buried rise to the surface when her cousin James is murdered and dumped on the highway just outside the gates of Laurel Heights. Her past trails her to the mountains of Arkansas... Caught in an obligation Chase Peterson feels he cannot ignore, he agrees to help his brother Rand take back the property he believes Laurel stole from him, but Chase remains at Laurel Heights after he discovers Laurel took nothing of Rand’s away with her except nightmares, fading bruises, and a broken rib. Unexplained disturbances shatter her hopes of a normal life... Are the strange bumps, thumps, and bangs reverberating through the night caused by the murderer of Laurel’s cousin James, someone Rand has sent to exact his revenge, or a disturbed soul existing in another dimension, trying to communicate with the living? Drawn together by the intrigue surrounding Laurel Heights, Chase and Laurel become hopelessly entangled in a relationship that goes deeper than mere physical attraction. Can their love survive the haunting of Laurel Heights? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @DMoncrief0131 Tweet: LAUREL HEIGHTS by @dmoncrief0131 is on #sale for #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! chez stinky susan c daffronChez Stinky – Susan C Daffron Kat Stevens is a slightly insecure, mostly bored technical writer who likes her cat a lot more than her boss. She hasn't laid eyes on her great aunt Abigail since she was eight, so she's stumped when she inherits Abigail's house in the small hamlet of Alpine Grove.Kat's uncomplicated life gets decidedly less so when she discovers the inheritance comes with some hairy conditions: four dogs and five cats that her aunt wanted her to love as her own. Of course, the house smells like a barn--with a touch of antique skunk--and, naturally, has serious roof issues. And that's before the three-legged cat gets stuck in the wall and the shower goes kablooey. When Kat meets Joel, an unemployed techie type with no love lost for his sister, Kat looks past his obvious flaws, given his timely and desirable skill set: a talent for fixing things (and his own tools). Despite out-of-control dogs, cat fights, dust dinosaurs, massive spiders and an old grizzled hippie passed out in the yard, Kat discovers the tranquility of the forests of Alpine Grove starting to seep into her soul. And why she can't she stop thinking about Joel? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @susandaffron Tweet: Get your discounted copy of CHEZ STINKY by @susandaffron for #99cents! #CyberMondayReads Hard Hats and DoormatsHard Hats and Doormats – Laura Chapman Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too. But after losing out on a big promotion–-because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol. While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders. Who says nice girls have to finish last? Original Price: $2.99 Sale Price: $.99 Amazon Link: Facebook Page: Twitter: @lmchap Tweet: HARD HATS AND DOORMATS by @lmchap is only #99cents during #CyberMondayReads! #newadult  

Friday, November 28, 2014

Surprises, Executive Orders, and Captain the Cat

There's a new post on November Surprises blog! To read about Lucy's explicit affair (with a cat) click here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Cystic Fibrosis in The Next Breath

Today is Thanksgiving, and as most families do, tonight we went around the table and spoke about what we are thankful for. I said that, above all, I am thankful for my health and for my family's health. I am one of several million parents who feel this way and I am lucky. I especially realize this now, since learning so much about cystic fibrosis while writing The Next Breath.

I knew very little about cystic fibrosis before I started writing The Next Breath and I don’t personally know anyone who has it. So why did I decide to write about it? Well, I wanted to put my main character, Robin, in the situation of loving someone whom she felt destined to lose. I thought it would be a good back story for her, and it would explain why present-day Robin is at once so wise and stunted.

But the more I read about cystic fibrosis, the more I realized how important it was to depict this illness realistically. People don’t die suddenly from it and there so much that patients need to do on a daily basis, like airway clearance and taking lots of medication. Their digestive systems suffer along with their lungs, and children with CF are often in and out of the hospital for weeks at a time. And when it comes to lung transplants, well, they’re the most risky type of transplant, and getting one brings on a host of all-new considerations, so CF patients really need to think hard before making that decision.

I was amazed at the generosity of so many people with CF, who share their stories online. That is where I got a lot of my research: from reading the CF blogs. The young woman who blew it out of the water was Eva Markvoort, who ran the blog, The blog still exists, but sadly, Eva died in 2010. She chronicled everything, and her brave video “goodbye” to all her readers is heartbreaking. She was suffering from chronic rejection three years after her lung transplant, and she had been told that she wouldn’t recover. But she was an amazing woman: loving, strong, and an incredible writer. There is also a documentary about her, which streams on Netflix, called 65 Red Roses. (Parents often teach their children to say “cystic fibrosis” by telling them to say “65 Roses,” hence the title. Eva added in “red” because it was her favorite color.)

Parts of The Next Breath that were really challenging to write were Jed’s hospital scenes. I wanted someone who suffers from CF to be able to read it and say, “Yeah, that’s realistic.” I also wanted someone who loves someone with CF to be able to say, “Yeah, that’s how Catherine and Robin would act.”

In the end, cystic fibrosis is only one part of The Next Breath. My aim was to write a story about loss and recovery, strength of spirit, and the power of love. I hope that’s what I did, but in the process I learned so much about what true bravery and strength really are. And I learned that even still, there’s so much that I don’t know.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Kindle Quest 2014: Dear Daughter and Bittersweet

Well, the year is coming to a close, and I've definitely downloaded more books than I've read. And as long as Book Bub, Book Gorilla, and Pixel of Ink continue to send me emails everyday with all these incredible deals, that is a trend that will only continue. Still, I've read a lot of the books I've downloaded; what I've really been negligent on is blogging about them. So, here you go, world! Two book reviews! :)

Dear Daughter, by Elizabeth Little, is supposed to be this year’s Gone Girl – at least that’s what the blurb said. It’s about Jane Jenkins, a Paris Hilton type who gets convicted for her mother’s murder, and then, ten years later, released on a technicality. However, Jane’s troubles are far from over, because the world still thinks she’s guilty, and bloggers and haters are determined to find her and bring her down. So Jane travels, in disguise, to the town where her mother grew up to look for clues and to see if she can figure out who the real killer is.
I had mixed feelings about this book. A couple of times I considered giving up in the middle, because it took me a while to care about Jane, and parts of the story dragged. However, once I got into the middle of the story, things picked up and the reader was supplied with more information about why Jane was so jaded, and I liked her more.
I did find a lot of it implausible, especially how she could have dated  all these famous men by the time she was sixteen. But the writing was ultra clever and tight, and the plot twists were well done. Does it live up to the Gone Girl comparison? Not quite, however, a lot of readers will be equally frustrated with both book’s endings, so if you decide to take a stab at it – BEWARE!

Bittersweet, by Miranda Beverly Whittermore, is another suspenseful story of privilege gone wrong. Mabel’s roommate, Genevra, comes from an elite, white-bread family, and Mabel wants nothing more than to be a part of them. So she jumps at the chance to spend the summer with them on their compound, and the entire time she’s there, Mabel tries to figure a way to become a permanent fixture in the family. This includes chatting up an eccentric aunt, falling for Genevra’s older brother, befriending her younger sister, and doing research on the family’s history. But the more research Mabel uncovers and the longer the summer stay becomes, the closer she gets to unearthing the deep, dark secrets that could bring the entire family down!

I liked this book a lot. A few times the pacing was a bit slow, but the prose was beautifully done, and Mabel really grew on me as the book wore on. The ending brought together all the plot points, and culminated in a satisfying end. I definitely recommend it. This is the sort of book that will still be good ten years from now, when it’s no longer trendy.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ebola, Zombies, and Midterm Elections

There's a new post on November Surprises Blog! To read about Lucy's zombie run-in with her high school bully Reggie, and their argument about Ebola and politics, click here.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Kindergarten, Narcissists, and the Harkin Steak Fry

There's a new post on November Surprises Blog. To find out about Abby's first day of Kindergarten, the Harkin Steak Fry, and why FDR could never be elected today, click here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Kindle Quest 2014 - The Husband's Secret, The Grisha Trilogy, and More

So I've been pretty remiss about charting my progress through all the books on my kindle. What's worse is, I keep downloading more so there's no way I'll ever read them all. But then again, does anyone actually read these posts? Probably not, so it doesn't really matter.

That said, I still don't have the heart to pan the books I didn't like. Yes, I did give Hopeless a snarky review, but Colleen Hoover has thousands and thousands of five star ratings on Goodreads and Amazon, so I expect she'll get over it. Other authors, who don't get reviewed often and who might have a Google alert on their name or on the title of their book, might take a bad review more to heart. So I'll just say that there were several books I'd started in the last few months, but was unable to finish because they were boring or just BAD. Oh well, it happens. Now I'll move on to the good ones.

First, I was pleasantly surprised with Shadow and Bone, the first book in the Grisha trilogy, by Leigh Burdugo.
It's another one of those books with a strong, young heroine who has to fight to save herself, the world, and the man she loves. It's like Hunger Games in that sense, but this is more fantasy than dystopian, and interestingly, a lot is based off of Russian history. The Russian names for places, characters, and fantastical elements were a little hard to keep track of at first, but I got used to it and was glad I did. This story held some genuine surprises, and it's about how everyone, even a protagonist, has a dark side. I strongly recommend it!

I definitely enjoyed Still Missing, by Chevy Stevens. It was very dark, but not so much that there wasn't a chance for things to (sort of) work out. The main character had a strong voice and the suspense was gripping. I guess I'm into suspense novels lately; I'm not really sure why.
Speaking of suspense, Omens, by Kelly Armstrong, was pretty good. It's about this young woman who finds out that not only was she adopted, but her birth-parents were serial killers. So she of course questions her identity, and her relationships with her mom and her fiance become quite strained. She sets out on her own, to this town called Cainesville, and teams up with a hot lawyer to try and prove her parents' innocence. Oh, and she can read omens and Cainesville is a spooky town.

I thought the writing was good and I really liked the human drama element of the story. The omens thing, however, got a little tedious. Still, I plan to check out the next book from the library - it's a series. I'm hoping it will be on audio. That will be perfect to listen to in my car.

Now, finally, I read The Husband's Secret, which was fabulous! I had heard a lot about it, and it had been on my kindle for a while, and I was finally in the mood to tackle it. None of the secrets were things I couldn't see coming, and I expect other readers figured it out easily too. But this book is more about WHY we keep secrets, and how we come to terms with keeping things both from ourselves and from those whom we love.

The story has three main characters - Cecelia, Tess, and Rachel, and they each are at a crossroads. Each, in her own way, becomes connected to the murder of Rachel's daughter, Janie, which happened years ago. Liane Moriarty does and excellent job of weaving these stories together, all with the through line of the Berlin Wall. Yes, it sounds strange, but I thought it was pretty brilliant.

All of these books were downloaded for cheap on my kindle.

Monday, August 11, 2014

James Brady, Real Fears, and the End of the Bathroom Ghost

There's a new post on November Surprises Blog! To read about James Brady and the conclusion to the bathroom ghost, click here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Weddings, Benghazi, and Extreme Measures

There's a new post on November Surprises, Lucy's political blog. To read more about Robin's upcoming wedding and Lucy's opinions on Benghazi (and for a special preview of American Angst) click here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Book Review - Spun by Catherine McKenzie

Spun by Catherine McKenzie is a fabulous novella that packs the same punch as a full length novel. It’s a sequel of sorts, to the novel Spin, but the point of view switches from Katie to Amber.
Several years have passed and Amber has managed, for the most part, to stay clean. But she’s been reduced to starring in perfume commercials and working with pretentious directors who don’t realize that she’s actually smarter than they are. Meanwhile, the paparazzi are still after Amber and her parents only communicate with her through televised “interventions.” Her best friend is still her publicist, and even Katie seems to have betrayed her.

So it’s no wonder that Amber is still drawn to her first love, the self-destructive Connor, and she can’t resist coming to him when he sends her a text in their coded language. But what follows is both unexpected and devastating.

Catherine McKenzie’s writing style is so polished and clever, but she also manages to make me laugh and cry. Spun is perfect for a plane ride or an evening or two of pleasant diversion. The pop culture references are flawless and the characterization is well done. Spun is just heavy enough not to feel fluffy and it’s also quite entertaining. A great read!

Friday, April 4, 2014

Princes and Progress

There's a new post on November Surprises, Lucy's political blog.To read about the Supreme Court and make up sessions, click here.

Also, there is good News! For the next couple of days, The Holdout is only 99 cents on Amazon, and November Surprise is free! (Click on the titles to visit their Amazon page.) Also, American Angst will be out soon, so you can get more Lucy/Robin stories. Click here to find out more!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Kindle Quest 2014 -Whiskey Rebellion

I downloaded Whiskey Rebellion last winter, after I'd seen it advertised for free, several times. It sounded fun, and I like a good, sexy mystery every now and then. I wasn't disappointed. Liliana Hart has a lot of strengths as a writer, and that includes writing very clever, funny description and creating good chemistry between her characters. Addison is hilarious and lovable, and she reminded me a lot of Stephanie Plum. I know I'm not the first reader to make this comparison to Janet Evanovich's books, and I really did think most of this book was best-seller type material.
I was a little disappointed with the end, because I thought too much was packed into the last couple of paragraphs, with no real resolution. But I guess she was leaving readers wanting more, so they'd buy the second book in the series.
This is just another example of how much talent there is out there. Liliana Hart could have been Janet Evanovich, if she'd had her luck, because she definitely has her talent. Still, Hart seems to be doing okay. The Whiskey Rebellion series looks like it's doing very well on Amazon, and she can boast being a USA Today bestseller. It's well-deserved.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Kindle Quest 2014 - The Fault is in Our Stars

I bought this book last summer. It was on sale for under two dollars and since some place like Time or The New York Times Book Review said it was the best book of the year (rare for a YA novel) I thought I should go ahead and buy it. But I hesitated to read it for two reasons. One, I worried that it would make me think about what it would be like if either of my children got cancer. It did. Two, I figured the book HAD to be overrated. It wasn't.

I didn't think there was any way that a story about two kids dying from cancer could be so unique, engaging,and ultimately uplifting. John Green has managed to create compelling, lovable characters that I truly cared about and a great plot, but that, to me, wasn't the most amazing part. How did he manage to write so profoundly in such an accessible way? I have total writer's envy after reading this one.

And I came to a conclusion. There are writers who are good because they have learned from other writers and they managed to draw stylistically from them to create something unique of their own. On my good days I believe that I belong in that group. Then there are writers who define a genre or contribute so much original thought that the work they create becomes an instant classic.

That's John Green, and that's The Fault is in Our Stars.

Cold Medicine and A New Cold War

There's a new post on November Surprises Blog! To read about why Lucy can't go to her political science conference (and about her opinions on Putin) click here.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Book Review - The Supreme Moment

At first The Supreme Moment reminded me of The Hunger Games. You have a teenage girl who's father is gone, and she's willing to sacrifice herself to keep her mother and little sister safe. Avery is very strong but she's also way more scared than she admits to being, which is another similarity to books like Hunger Games or Divergent. But that is not to say that this book isn't unique. It definitely is! The relationship between Avery and Darrion is developed with complexity, in an adult sort of way, that is both mysterious and believable. And the author's imagination and creativity are incredible! The Supreme Moment has a strong ending that won't disappoint, but the world that's been developed is so complex, I'm thinking there's room for many more novels. I hope so anyway!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Kindle Quest 2014 - Hopeless

One of my New Year's resolutions is to get through all the books I've downloaded on my kindle that are just waiting to be read. So a couple of weeks ago I started reading Hopeless, which I downloaded for free. I had heard a lot about it, and the fact that it has over a thousand five star reviews on Amazon made me both jealous and curious.

I enjoyed the first part. I liked the author's voice and I thought she had some clever lines. I liked her descriptions and I also liked how she formatted the book, and the pacing. The chemistry between Sky and Holder was very intense and I could understand why readers responded so well.

Then I got into the second half. It started to get kind of dark, but I was still curious to find out what happens (and I was right in my predictions.) I don't mind that the story got really serious, but I do have a problem with how some of it was handled.

Because the last fourth bothered me. SPOILER ALERT: Don't keep reading if you don't want the story ruined for you.

Okay. First of all, Sky and Holder watch her father commit suicide, then go back to their hotel room and have amazing sex? Uhgg. That just didn't seem right. Second of all, Sky's father was a cop. It never occurred to him to find his long lost sister and see if she kidnapped his daughter? I don't buy that. And then there's Holder. He seemed just a little too perfect in his reactions. And I got very tired of all lines about people's eyes - the concern in their eyes, the sadness in their eyes, the pain in their eyes - I know Colleen Hoover can do better because she does at other points in this book. And I also got tired of hearing about how strong Sky is. Holder tells her that a lot, and she tells herself that, and then they make out some more and then there's more description of how breathtaking their love is.  And the scene at the end? Uhgg. I also don't buy that a four and six-year-old would have that kind of conversation, and besides, their parents wouldn't let them be up that late and alone at night anyway.

I don't usually write critical posts about other author's work. And honestly, I do respect Colleen Hoover and her success. I guess I just needed to rant a little, because I don't understand why so many people are in love with this book. Please don't judge me for it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Bridgegate, Brawls, and a Black Eye

There's a new post on November Surprises, Lucy's political blog. To read about Lucy's opinions on Bridgegate and how she got a black eye, click here.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Why "The Goldfinch" Means Poor Book Sales for Me and Other Indie Authors

Early last December I was going through a batch of unopened emails when I found one from Book Gorilla, advertising The Goldfinch on sale for only $1.69. I immediately clicked on the link because I had been eagerly awaiting the chance to read Donna Tartt's latest - I was one of many who adored The Secret History when it first came out. (Although I wasn't crazy about Little Friend.)

Anyway, luckily for me, it was still on sale and I downloaded it with glee. Later that evening I was talking to a friend who had just put the kindle app on her new iPad. "So show me how to download your book," she said. And I happily steered her towards The Holdout on Amazon, where she bought it for $2.99.

Then I told her about how I had bought The Goldfinch that morning for only $1.69, and she bought that too. And she said, "So I just spent more for your book than I did for a national bestseller?" I laughed because she was teasing me, but I couldn't stop thinking about the comment nonetheless.

How can I possibly compete? Sure, The Goldfinch is now $7.49, but on any given day you'll be able to find SOME bestseller for an astonishingly cheap price. And then there are the hundreds of free books out there. Why would anyone pay $2.99 to buy a book by an author they don't know?

It turns out that they wouldn't. My sales have flat-lined. Completely. Two and half years ago I was selling up to 60 copies a day of Following My Toes. Yes, it was at 99 cents, and I'll go into why I raised the prices of my books in a minute. But I knew that sort of winning streak couldn't last.

And it didn't. Even still, a year ago at this time I would sell several copies a week of each of my books, and when I released November Surprise it enjoyed a mild sales boon, benefiting from my promotions and blog tours.

Fast-forward a year, to when I released The Holdout. In my own, nonobjective opinion, it is my best and most marketable book so far. And I have really, really tried to market it. I've done promotion after promotion. I've done two blog tours, so far. I emailed book bloggers and Amazon reviewers and solicited reviews myself. And I've gotten a great response (read the latest reviews on kirkus and novel escapes) but none of it has translated into sales. None of my books are selling at all anymore, and as I watch my sales rankings plummet it's hard to keep my spirits up.

Maybe I'm the only author out there who is experiencing this frustration, but I'd be surprised if I was. I finished The Goldfinch last night, and after 800 pages I was moved and grateful for having read it. Tartt is a true talent and I'd love to be able to write an ending like she did, with such depth and description. But I can only keep trying.

Because in the end, the only remedy to the frustration of poor book sales is to write more books. I can't control how many people like and/or buy my books, but I can plan my next book and pin my hopes on that. And if nothing else, the several dozen readers who have heard of me will hopefully download it and enjoy my next realease. That's very, very cool when it happens.

As for why I don't just sell all my books at 99 cents anymore - I found that it doesn't necessarily help with sales, and if they're always that low, then I can't advertise on a lot of sites that only promote books that are on sale. So I have to keep at least some of my books at $2.99 so I can reduce the price occasionally, and advertise the sale when I do.

My other plan for alleviating my nobody's-buying-my-books angst is to get to all the other books on my kindle that I haven't read yet. There's a ton, and I've decided not to download any more until I read some in my electronic TBR pile. I realize the irony in this, because like a lot of other people, I'll be contributing to the huge supply/poor demand ebook market and its inevitable evolution over the past few years. But I'm going to report back on what I think of these books, and I plan to alternate between mainstream and indie published books. So my next read will be by an indie author, although I haven't decided which one yet.

And maybe by the time I'm ready to start downloading books again, my books will be selling again too.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Cruzing to the Future and Haunted by the Past (and by a bathroom ghost)

There's a new post on November Surprises blog. To read about Jack's bathroom ghost and Lucy's Ted Cruz coloring book, click here.